|El Laboratorio del Procomún reúne a personas de ámbitos diversos como la filosofía, la ecología, el activismo, el hacktivismo, el derecho, el urbanismo, el arte, el periodismo o la política económica. Tras una primera etapa desarrolada entre junio de 2007 y febrero de 2008, cuyas conclusiones recoge Antonio Lafuente en su texto "Laboratorio sin muros", se han formado varios grupos de trabajo que se reúnen periódicamente y trabajan online para debatir y planificar acciones sobre el valor de los diversos "procomunes" y sobre los peligros que los amenazan.|
A Lab without walls
Published on 01/10/2009 - Games and methodologies
Co-Learning, Self-management, Communities / Networks, Games, Legal, Analogies of digital, Collective learning, Commons, Networks creation, Communication tools
Contributors: Antonio Lafuente
It is often said that a family, a hospital, or a river are social laboratories, as they give rise to relations or conflicts that make it possible to understand all or part of the social environment of which they are a part, or which they help to create. Thus, by looking at a fragment of the world, it can be seen in its entirety, which is to say that several variables are sufficient (those that make it possible to plan, structure, and order) to gain a general understanding or a view of the global situation from a local perspective. Upon choosing the variables and adopting a protocol that makes it possible to carry out these simplifications without seeming capricious or arbitrary, several identifying characteristics become clear:
- Community-centred: a collective understanding of the world or, in other words, working toward a world made by everyone, a shared world.
- Analogue: to simplify it so it fits on a map, an outline, a graph, or an image, or, in other words, to create an order that is accessible to everyone.
- Experimental: to recognize the tentative, experimental, provisional nature of the process or, in other words, to recognize that it will have to be reviewed often by many people in order to make it reliable.
The key lies in those protocols that make data relevant or, in other words, shared. There are many types, given that they comprise a set of rules (or conventions) that are perfectly adapted to the object (matter, subject, problem, issue) in each case. However, they all share a common feature: they automate functions, which means they are not personalized (there is no protocol for the genious), but instead can be applied by anyone who has received the proper training (or discipline).
The protocol creates a community of people who use it, which fosters a common language, as well as tested and legitimated devices, and even standards for the use of space. That is why there are so many workshops that looks the same, as in the case of health centres, botanical gardens, law firms, and photo studios. That is, in addition to the regularity we see among oceans, mountains, and jungles, there is that of institutions that study them, or, to repeat what was said above, where they are created.
If this reflection is correct, priority must be then given to the tasks of automating functions and building a space that reflects the nature of the activity we intend to develop, including protocols and practices. Speaking of protocols implies identifying the threshold of rigor and the commitments voluntarily agreed upon as a standard for behaviour which will serve as the shared world that constitutes us and that we help to constitute. A laboratory is a common space that creates a community out of those which use it.
Community is a key notion, although it must not be linked to any organic, ideological, or belief connotations. There can be, and always have been, distributed communities or groups formed by strangers, created on the basis of a particular subject or a problem.